gridiron

Lummi Hands Quilcene a Beating

Congratulation to the Lummi Nation School for advancing to the 1B State Semifinals.

On Saturday I covered the 1B state football quarterfinals at Lummi Nation School near Bellingham, Wash., for The Bellingham Herald. The Lummi Blackhawks hosted the Quilcene Rangers in what should have been a close battle. But, Lummi prevailed soundly defeating Quilcene 40 t0 0 to advance to the semifinals against Neah Bay.

In contrast to the past few weekends of rain, it was a beautiful day for football. The cold, crisp air filled my lungs as I stepped on the sideline. The sunlight warmed my face as I strategized shooting angles due to the Sun’s low position on the horizon. As the Sun was nearly aligned with the field, I would be shooting into the Sun as one team had the ball, and near perfect light when the other team had the ball.

Barely Caught

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) is stopped short of the goal by Quilcene's Eli Harrison (15) during the first quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) is stopped short of the goal by Quilcene’s Eli Harrison (15) during the first quarter in the 1B state quarter-final on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

In one hand was my D300s with 70-200 f/2.8, on my monopod was my D3 with 400 f/2.8. The D3 and 400 I borrowed from the Herald. In my pocket was my 17-35 f/2.8 for pre and post-game features. I wish I had a third body for it though.

Gang Tackle

Quilcene's Acea Such (24) gets tackled by a host of Lummi defenders during the third quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Quilcene’s Acea Such (24) gets tackled by a host of Lummi defenders during the third quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

*** Tip: When I shoot, I tend to be about 20 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage. This gives me a good position for both a downfield pass and the sweep as the carrier comes around the corner. 

But I do adjust this as the game progresses. Some teams just slaughter on the pass, others on the run. It’s not only important to know your gear, but also be able to read the game so you’re in position for the play.

Squeezing Through

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) escapes the grasp of Quilcene's Olin Reynolds (13), bottom, Jarod Smith (22), left, and Andy Johnston (21) during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) escapes the grasp of Quilcene’s Olin Reynolds (13), bottom, Jarod Smith (22), left, and Andy Johnston (21) during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

When the offense is nearing the “Red Zone,” or 20 yard line, I tend to just move straight to behind the goal line. This gives me a good position for either a run or pass play. I usually only shoot with my 70-200 as it allows me to zoom in or out depending on where the play will be.

The One That Almost Got Away

Quilcene's A.J. Prator (10) runs by Lummi's Dashawn Lawrence (10) during the second quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Quilcene’s A.J. Prator (10) runs by Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence (10) during the second quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

***Tip: Watch the quarterback as they have the ball. Listen to the coaches and teams, they usually will yell to the defense “pass,” “run,” or “sweep.” When the quarterback has the ball, watch where he looks and how they hold their stance. If they set to throw, they will look first which is a clue as to where they will throw. Swing your lens and figure out which receiver will be thrown to.

It takes practice getting used to all the different clues. But once you begin doing it, it comes rather easy. It’s also good to know who the quarterback’s favorite runner and receiver are., who on defense has the most sacks or interceptions, these are all clues to help you get great action shots rather than by chance. Read the paper and other pre-game articles on who to pay attention to.

Interception!!!

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) reaches for the ball to make an interception against Quilcene during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Borsey returned the interception for 60 yards. The interception was called good but was called back due to a Lummi penalty. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) reaches for the ball to make an interception against Quilcene during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Borsey returned the interception for 60 yards. The interception was called good but was called back due to a Lummi penalty. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Almost There

Quilcene's Eli Harrison (15) moves in on Lummi's Dashawn Lawrence (10) as a Quilcene's A.J. Prator (10) graps his feet during the second quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Quilcene’s Eli Harrison (15) moves in on Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence (10) as a Quilcene’s A.J. Prator (10) grasps his feet during the second quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

It was pretty amazing to see Lummi adapt to how Quilcene played. A 40 point rout is impressive. Again, congratulations to the Lummi Blackhawks on their decisive win.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section. Don’t forget to sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

Although his specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

Rocking Images from October 2015

October was a fun month of shooting: Multiple assignments, booked a few weddings, portrait sessions, and some features.

First are a couple of family sessions.

Kristin at Sunset

Kristin at Semiahoo Resort near Blaine, Wash., during a portrait session.

Kristin at Semiahoo Resort near Blaine, Wash., during a portrait session.

I met Kristin, her husband Aaron, and their son Riley at Semiahoo Resort near Blaine, Wash. We shot at an old boat there as well as on the beach on the resort ground.

Riley Cheesing

Riley during a family photo session at Semiahoo Resort near Blaine, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Riley during a family photo session at Semiahoo Resort near Blaine, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Riley loved the camera. Not only was he a cute kid, he was easy to work with as well. It made for a great shoot.

A few days later, I met Stephanie, husband Derrick, daughter Jordyn, and son Dakot. My wife and I met them up at Silver Lake to get some fall foliage. But unfortunately

Jordyn

Jordyn during a their family session at Silver Lake near Maple Falls, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Jordyn during a their family session at Silver Lake near Maple Falls, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Dakota

Dakota during a family session at Silver Lake near Maple Falls, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Dakota during a family session at Silver Lake near Maple Falls, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

The May family was really great to work with.

For the Bellingham Herald, I covered a few football games and assignments for Whatcom Magazine

Squalicum 1

Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum 2

Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Meridian at Sehome Soccer 1

Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome's Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome’s Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Meridian at Sehome Soccer 2

Meridian's Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome's Fiona Dawson (8) druing the first half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Meridian’s Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome’s Fiona Dawson (8) during the first half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Burlington-Edison at Lynden Football 1

Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Burlington-Edison at Lynden Football 2

Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the socre 27-13. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the socre 27-13. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Everyday Superheros 5K 1

Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash. Bennett says the "DOF" on her shirt stands for "Department of Fun." (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash. Bennett says the “DOF” on her shirt stands for “Department of Fun.” (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Everyday Superheros 5K 2

Addison Jager, 7, of Belingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Addison Jager, 7, of Belingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Rock & Rye Oyster House 1

Bartender Liliana Franz draws a draught at the bar in Rock and Rye Oyster House on State Street in the Herald Building on Tuesday evening Sept. 29, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Bartender Liliana Franz draws a draught at the bar in Rock and Rye Oyster House on State Street in the Herald Building on Tuesday evening Sept. 29, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Rock & Rye Oyster House 2

Line cook Jabez Richard, left, makes a dish as general manager Harrison Gilbert watches during dinner service at the Rock and Rye Oyster House on State Street in the Herald Building on Tuesday evening Sept. 29, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Line cook Jabez Richard, left, makes a dish as general manager Harrison Gilbert watches during dinner service at the Rock and Rye Oyster House on State Street in the Herald Building on Tuesday evening Sept. 29, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Wood Stone Corporation 1

Chef Frank Milward prepares dishes in the test kitchen of the Wood Stone Corporation on West Bakerview Road in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday Oct. 8, 2015. New owners may opt to train how to use the ovens in one of several training kitchens. Wood Stone manufactures gas ovens used in restaurants and homes throughout the world. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Chef Frank Milward prepares dishes in the test kitchen of the Wood Stone Corporation on West Bakerview Road in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday Oct. 8, 2015. New owners may opt to train how to use the ovens in one of several training kitchens. Wood Stone manufactures gas ovens used in restaurants and homes throughout the world. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Wood Stone Corporation 2

Welder Vee Lacourte of Bellingham welds the base to a stove at the Wood Stone Corporation manufacturing facility on West Bakerview Road in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday Oct. 8, 2015. Wood Stone manufactures gas ovens used in restaurants and homes throughout the world. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Vee Lacourte of Bellingham welds the base to a stove at the Wood Stone Corporation manufacturing facility on West Bakerview Road in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday Oct. 8, 2015. Wood Stone manufactures gas ovens used in restaurants and homes throughout the world. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning, published photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are the Associated Press, the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

Although his specialty is photojournalism, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

#MountBaker vs #Montesano #Football in #District1A #Playoffs

Just a quick post with a few photos.

This past Saturday I photographed Mount Baker Mountaineers as they soundly defeated the Montesano Bulldogs 41 to 28 in the first round of the Washington state District 1A playoffs. It was a cold bitter night as the Mountaineers took control of the ball from the start.

Missed Opportunity:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Mount Baker running back Johnny Mata (23), right, evades an open field tackle by Montesano linebacker Logan Truax (5)  during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Mount Baker running back Johnny Mata (23), right, evades an open field tackle by Montesano linebacker Logan Truax (5) during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

The Mountaineers play Saturday Nov. 22, 2014, and I’m looking forward to seeing them and their powerhouse offense against Eatonville.

You can view more images in the gallery Montsano vs Mt. Baker in District 1A Playoff

 

Behind the Line:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Montesano running back Tanner Birdsall (22) is tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Mount Baker linebacker Jed Schleimer (4) for a loss of yards during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Montesano running back Tanner Birdsall (22) is tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Mount Baker linebacker Jed Schleimer (4) for a loss of yards during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

 

Interception:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Montesano's Logan Truax (5) intercepts a Mount Baker pass  during the final minute of the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Montesano’s Logan Truax (5) intercepts a Mount Baker pass during the final minute of the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

 

Line Dancing:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) attempts to stay inbound after Montesano line backer Jake Herzog (9) misses the tackel during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014. Schleimer was called out of bounds by the sideline referee.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) attempts to stay inbound after Montesano linebacker Jake Herzog (9) misses the tackle during the second quarter. Schleimer was called out-of-bounds by the sideline referee.

 

Barreling Through:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) barrels through Montesano's Tanner Birdsall (22), left, Cole Nleson (10), right, and Sawyer Rhoden (8) for a five yard gain during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) barrels through Montesano’s Tanner Birdsall (22), left, Cole Nelson (10), right, and Sawyer Rhoden (8) for a five yard gain during the second quarter.

 

Reaching:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Montesano defensive lineman Taylor Ruper (52) nearly blocks an extra point attemt during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Montesano defensive lineman Taylor Ruper (52) nearly blocks an extra point attempt during the first quarter. Due to an earlier blocked kick by Montesano, I positioned myself next to the goal post to get another one. Almost did. Almost.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Follow Me on Google+
  2. “Like” my Page on Facebook
  3. Follow me on Twitter
  4. Follow me on Pinterest

Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Wash., Whatcom County in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday Night Lights: Nooksack Valley takes on Montesano

On Friday night, I covered high school football as Nooksack Valley hosted Montesano. As usual, I like to wait before posting when I cover assignments for The Bellingham Herald.

At the end of this post, I’ll have a few tips to help you improve your football photography. Not just “get a long lens” type tips, but real ways you can get better shots.

Take Down:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack sophomore center back Connor Beard (12) takes down Montesano senior receiver Riley Olson at the sideline during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack sophomore center back Connor Beard (12) takes down Montesano senior receiver Riley Olson at the sideline during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Bulldogs 40-34

As the drive to Nooksack Valley High School was a good 35 to 45 minutes, I knew I couldn’t stay until the end of the game. My plan was to find a coffee shop near the high school so I can download, edit 3 or 4 images, create a slide show and make deadline. Standard protocol when working with newspapers.

Beautiful Light:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39)  looks for daylight during the first quarter against  Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39) looks for daylight during the first quarter against Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

And for some god forsaken reason, I like working on a deadline. I do miss that deadline adrenaline at times. And at others, I’m soooooo damned happy not to worry about it.

FUMBLE!!!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39) fumbles the ball after being tackled by Montesano junior linebacker Keegan Darst (7)  during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39) fumbles the ball after being tackled by Montesano junior linebacker Keegan Darst (7) during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

This Friday was a bit different as well. Not only was I going to shoot a game,  I planned on going up to Artist Point near Mt. Baker to view and photograph an expected outbreak of aurora borealis.  You can read and view images from that outing at A Night Under The Stars: Tips To Improve Your Night Photography.

Missed Tackle:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack senior linebacker William Kingma (5) attempts to tackle Montesano junior running back Kyle Englund (33) during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack senior linebacker William Kingma (5) attempts to tackle Montesano junior running back Kyle Englund (33) during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.

I read a few articles on the players and realized the two to watch for on the Nooksack side were Tanner Myhre and William Kingma. Knowing the key players of each team is important as is knowing what formation and plays they use most. How can you capture great images without knowing the plays or players? Luck will only take you so far.

Coming From Behind:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack free safety Tanner Myhre (11), right, comes from behind to tackle Montesano senior running back Tanner Birdsall (22) at the end of his 25 yard first quarter run at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.  The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack free safety Tanner Myhre (11), right, comes from behind to tackle Montesano senior running back Tanner Birdsall (22) at the end of his 25 yard first quarter run at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

– As with everything in journalism, you must stay fluid and flow with the changes –

It was no different with this game. Although Nooksack Valley was the favorite, Montesano had control of the game from the start. The stopped the NV offense cold, only allowing a field goal.

Get Away!!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack senior quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) stiff arms Montesano  junior line backer Jordan Bussard (51) to evade a tackle during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack senior quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) stiff arms Montesano junior line backer Jordan Bussard (51) to evade a tackle during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

The light on the field was fantastic as the Sun was setting to the west of the field. I stayed on the visitor side as this gave me the best light. It’s also good to stay on one side of the field so you can make sure everyone on that sideline gets used to you.

Missed Tackle:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) out runs a  Montesano defender during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) out runs a Montesano defender during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

However, after the Sun set the end of the first quarter, it was under the crappy stadium lights I had to shoot. And these lights were basic high school lights: dim, shifting color and intensity. Ugh.

This made for uneven white balance as I shot. Even using a Nikon D3s, the camera was not fast enough to adjust. In fact, you can see the white balance change from magenta to green then back. And the exposure: from under to over to under.

Oh, and I had no monopod so I just carried it . Yeah, it was a load, but good exercise.

Minor differences, but you can tell when you see them next to each other in Lightroom or Photo Mechanic. To make it easier, I left my white balance on”Auto.”  A move I don’t normally do, but with lighting this hideous, it was prudent to get close as possible to the proper color then correct it in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.

Going Wide:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack wide receiver William Kingma (5) looks for opening during the second quarter against  Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack wide receiver William Kingma (5) looks for opening during the second quarter against Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

After the first half, I had to leave so I make my deadline. I did not find a coffee shop to edit and transmit from. So, I just went home to edit and upload from there.

For the game, I used my Nikon D300s with my Nikon 80-200 f/2.8. I borrowed a D3s and 300mm f/2.8 for the more distance plays.  I tend to stay up field from the line of scrimmage

Tips For Photographing High School Football:

– After each significant play, take a quick shot of the scoreboard. That way you can keep track of when the play happened.. If you keep a notepad, write down the yardage made, any other significant info. This will also keep you ahead of the game. 

– Know the teams or at least the star players of each team, both offense and defense. This is a tall order, but the paper’s usually write a pregame that will help you learn who the key players are..

– Use two bodies, if you can. One with long glass (300mm or longer) and one with a telephoto zoom. This way, if you are photographing and the action comes close, you can just swap cameras then shoot with the shorter lens.

– Don’t wait til the card is full. Change it when there is enough room for 20 or so photographs. Filling it up  slows the camera down as it attempts to find the space to write the file which can cause you to miss a shot,.

– Keep extra cards immediately handy. Although there can be a few moments between plays, the last thing you want is to miss a shot because you’re rifling through your camera bag for them.

– Stay in front of the line of scrimmage. I usually stay about 15 yards so I can get the running action and be prepared for pass plays.. Unless I know the defense is stopping the offense or sacking the QB, then I try to stay in front to capture the plays.

– Listen to the coaches and teams as the play unfolds. You can get a good hint of where the play will be, where it may go, and if. Especially if it’ll be a long pass.

– When the offense is approaching the red zone (the 20 yard line to the goal), then I get behind the end zone. This gives me the opportunity to get the run straight in, jumping over the top,  or from the side if the defense pushes them to the corner.  

– Pay attention to the clock. At the end of the quarter, they switch direction. Don’t be left at the wrong end of the field because you answered your phone or were busy talking with another photographer.

Football is fun and easy. If you don’t have a long lens, just follow the game as it progresses up and down the field. Have fun.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Wash., in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.